Also: California’s lessons for the HQ2 bidding war, and the white men leading America’s largest cities.
Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Sign up for the CityLab Daily newsletter here.
What We’re Following
Lanes merge: Two of the hottest trends in urban mobility are coming together: The Verge reports that Uber has acquired JUMP, a dockless bikeshare startup, in a deal that’s rumored to be worth $100 million. This gives the ride-hailing company 12,000 dockless, GPS-enabled bikes in 40 cities across six countries. Uber had previously piloted integrating the pedal-assist bikesharing app into its own ride-hailing app in San Francisco.
Safety first: Experts in driverless cars and transportation planning are gathering in Pittsburgh today and tomorrow for a summit on autonomous vehicles. Safety concerns are front and center after last month’s fatal crash of a self-driving test vehicle in Tempe, Arizona. As questions linger about whether AV’s are really ready for the road, panel moderator Jackie Erickson highlighted a recent Pittsburgh Tribune quote from John Bares, who ran Uber’s self-driving car operations before returning to Carnegie Robotics in August:
The company and the dream of the employees is a mode of transportation that is safer and more efficient for everyone, and clearly events like this are a huge step back, but the dream is still there and we’re going to get there.
I’ll be reporting from the conference today and tomorrow. If you have any burning questions about autonomous vehicles, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message on Twitter.
More on CityLab
Video of the Day
A new Vox video shows what America’s shopping mall decline means for social space. Before the recent slump in growth, the number of American malls quadrupled from 1970 to 2017, while the U.S. population did not even double in the same span of time. Malls bloomed with America’s suburban growth, after architect Victor Gruen designed the first indoor mall in Minnesota in 1956. Those origins also shape the mall’s shortcomings as a “third place” between work and home now as people return back to the city. CityLab context: A ticking time bomb for suburban retail, and What will become of Victor Gruen’s Northland Center?
What We’re Reading
A look at housing in America through 83 million eviction records (New York Times)
See brutalist buildings in the middle of their destruction (Curbed)
How skateboards won the urban landscape (New York Times)
Man who died in Trump Tower fire tried to sell apartment, friend says (NPR)